I was reading an article about Bronnie Ware, a former caregiver for those who were dying, and a
blog she wrote entitled “ The Top Five Regrets of the Dying .” It caused me to think about the
regrets of the bereaved as well. As someone who had caused my own suffering for many years
after my mom’s suicide, I reflected on the stories I told myself. (My hunch is that these may
resonate with you, too.)
Before we dive into the stories, though, I want to talk to you about clean pain and dirty pain.
Clean pain is just that. Pure, flowing energy. Loss of a loved one is clean pain. Clean pain is part
of life and part of our human experience. Clean pain needs to be felt and processed in the waves
that ebb and flow.
Dirty pain are the stories we tell ourselves about that clean pain. Dirty pain can keep us stuck in a
cycle of suffering. Limiting Beliefs are dirty pain.
Top 10 Limiting Beliefs About a Loved One’s Death:
1. The more I suffer, the more I prove my love.
2. I should have (actions not taken before their death).
3. I’m a bad person if I don’t think about (loved one) all the time.
4. I’m a bad person if I move on.
5. I should have been a better (role in that relationship).
6. I shouldn’t dishonor the memory of (loved one) by talking or thinking about their
7. (Loved one) should be here right now.
8. If only (different circumstance), they’d still be alive.
9. I can’t live without (loved one).
10. I shouldn’t be happy without (loved one).
Any of these sound familiar?